ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — Former Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer died Wednesday, according to his family. He was 83.
His grandson, Beau Zimmer – of CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa, tweeted Wednesday night that his father had passed away.
Today I lost my “Pops” the greatest grandfather anyone could ever ask for. Don Zimmer lived an amazing baseball life pic.twitter.com/7NiAdtMpl5
— Beau Zimmer (@Zimm10) June 5, 2014
Zimmer spent 12 seasons from 1954 through 1965 playing for the Dodgers – first in Brooklyn, then in Los Angeles. He also played for the Mets, and the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Senators.
Zimmer ended his playing career after the 1967 season, and managed minor league teams until taking over as third base coach for the Montreal Expos in 1971, and San Diego Padres in 1972.
He served as third base coach and later manager the Boston Red Sox during the 1970s, and managed the Texas Rangers in the early 1980s before serving two stints as a coach with the Yankees in 1983 and 1986. He also coached for the San Francisco Giants in 1987, and managed the Chicago Cubs for their National League Eastern Division title run in 1989.
Zimmer then went on to join the first coaching staff of the expansion Colorado Rockies from 1993 to 1995.
But he became best known as the bench coach for the Yankees from 1996 to 2003. In that post, Zimmer helped the Yankees to four World Series titles .
Besides being Torre’s right-hand man, Zimmer may be remembered most in New York for his infamous on-field scuffle with then-Boston Red Sox starter Pedro Martinez in the 2003 ALCS.
He was hired by the Tampa Bay Rays as senior baseball adviser in 2004 after a falling out with late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
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